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Dec 19 2013
Ask Carroll: Managing Holiday Munchies

Ask Carroll is a semi-regular feature in which reader questions are answered. Have a question for Carroll? E-mail it to and it may be answered in a future post!

Please note that the purpose of this blog is to educate readers; it is not meant as medical advice or as a substitute for a private consultation with your physician or dietitian. Please contact your physician or dietitian regarding any specific medical or dietary concerns, respectively.

Q: Every year I find myself snacking uncontrollably throughout the holiday season, with all of the big meals, cookie exchanges and parties. Do you have any tips on how to rein in my eating habits during this time of year?

A: Thank you for your question! I am sure many of our readers are experiencing the same troubles. To answer your question, I turned to Anders Grant, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., a registered dietitian and certified specialist in the area of sports and exercise nutrition at the hospital.

Here is her helpful advice:

As the holidays approach in a back-to-back fashion, we are left with a smorgasbord of high fat choices to snack on. The trick is reminding yourself that this is just one of many holidays, and you run the risk of adding on the pounds. Because food is associated with so many fond memories – Grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies or apple pie, for example – the temptation to indulge is even greater.

To prevent the bulge from holiday snacking, try the following:

  • Drink non-carbonated water with your meals and in-between meals
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Take 10 minutes out of a busy day to relax and regenerate away from food (maybe sit in your car for an extra 5 minutes before going inside or driving away)
  • Go for a brisk 10-minute walk
  • Borrow a meditation DVD from the library or from the hospital’s Resource Center (410-871-6161) and meditate 5 minutes before eating
  • Put your favorite snack in a toddler-sized snack container
  • Switch to a low calorie dressing dip for finger foods
  • Make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep nightly

We hope these suggestions help! Thank you again for your question, and happy holidays to you!


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